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Millions of businesses are being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, it may not surprise you that you will have to adjust your budget to accommodate the massive amount of changes that we will see when the outbreak is handled and everyday life begins to normalize. Today, we thought we’d take you through some of the financial challenges your business is sure to have to deal with when the stay-at-home orders lift.
Technology has proven to be indispensable over the past weeks, allowing millions of businesses to sustain operations while governments mandate people to stay at home. Somewhat surprisingly, we are also seeing that technology is one of the first line-items on the chopping block as decision-makers look to reduce overhead. Analysts are predicting that most businesses will be cutting their IT budget by two-or-more percent over the next 18 months. This is a problem for an industry that has grown rapidly over the past decade.
That distressing news isn't a big surprise as responsible managers look to free up as much capital as they can to reduce the amount of human resources alterations they will need to make. Some industries, like hospitality and manufacturing, have already seen large reductions in revenue, and with the uncertainty that’s hanging over society, it could be a deathblow to businesses that don’t have the wiggle room to make significant cuts.
Conservative outlays will likely eliminate planned non-essential technology projects and force a lot of businesses’ hands to shift the strategies they are going to use to try and sustain the business until the economic downturn ends.
If your business needs to make some cuts, considering sustaining the telework strategies that have been forced upon you after the stay-at-work ends. Not only will you be able to maintain workable levels of operational productivity, but you will also be able to cut some of the utility and overhead costs that come from having a dedicated place of business.
Prior to the pandemic, according to a survey released on April 17, 2020, by Statistics Canada, 2.1 million Canadians worked from home. According to the same survey with the stay-at-home orders, an additional 4.7 million Canadian workers suddenly had to work remotely. That is a staggering 6.7 million Canadians that are working from home. Many businesses didn’t have the contingency planning to pivot to an all-remote workforce and had to suspend operations. Only time will tell if those businesses are able to prosper or re-open at all. Those businesses that have an IT managed services provider (MSP) were able to pivot their business online faster than those who didn’t possess active IT support.
Some of the challenges of supporting a remote staff aren’t what business owners and managers expect, especially if your business was very adamant that you would be losing money and productivity. It turns out that people can be trusted to work from home. They can be as productive as they are inside of an office, and they don’t need direct oversight for eight hours a day to meet their deadlines.
One big consideration that isn’t just conjecture is the security of the connections and computers used for productivity. To send and receive files, there needs to be some semblance of security to ensure that sensitive and proprietary data isn’t intercepted in transit. To combat this, your MSP can help you set up remote access to your work PC or set you up with a virtual private network (VPN) that will ensure that all of the data you are sending and receiving is protected, even if a user is using a sketchy Wi-Fi network.
The thing is, procuring tools is not even one of the core competencies of your average managed IT service provider (MSP). What MSPs really excel at is monitoring and managing IT infrastructure to ensure that all hardware, software, and networking equipment are working properly. Using our cutting-edge remote monitoring and management software, the MSP can keep issues from turning into potential problems. These practices reduce the amount of downtime a business has to endure, driving up productivity.
The biggest benefit of the MSP is that all the work that is done, is done for a fraction of what you would expect to pay for it. In fact, over the course of a few months, the service will pay for itself when compared to what it would cost your business to employ expert IT technicians. Moreover, you know exactly what you pay each month, providing you with the ability to forecast what you are spending on IT support.
Troy is a life-long entrepreneur who is passionate about helping business owners solve complex business problems with technology. He enjoys sharing knowledge to help other businesses succeed.
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